On the One Hand

Posted by – June 19, 2008

The AMA just passed a resolution to outlaw home births. Astounding. As if women haven’t been giving birth for eons at home, with the help of midwives. My own mother was born in her family’s home in PA with the help of a midwife (and she had to fight for the right to have natural childbirth when she was giving birth to her own children in the 1950s & 1960s).

This is baffling, and unfair. For a lot of poor women, the increased costs of health insurance, the debilitating recovery needed from the over-prescribed C sections, and just the sheer cost of a hospital delivery, make it nearly impossible for these women to do anything BUT give birth at home.

& Here I was cheered by the news that the AMA resolved to support the treatment of GID by health insurance coverage (more on that tomorrow). I feel like I’ve just been spun in a revolving door.

(via Feministing)

10 Comments on On the One Hand

  1. VivaZoya says:

    No WAY! That is absolutely MORTIFYING. I was a big-time homebirth proponent during my first pregnancy. I had complications so I ended up in a hospital, but my other three kids were born with the help of a CNM at a birthing center. I can’t imagine taking this option away. They had better make it a hell of a lot easier for women to choose birthing centers then – which is the next best thing to home. Boo!

  2. joanne says:

    It’s all Ricki Lake’s fault.

  3. rocketqueen says:

    Unfuckingbelievable. You know, as an acupuncturist, I *try* to give the medical establishment their due. I try not to hate them despite my own shitty experiences in their hands, and far worse anecdotes from friends, family, and patients (*especially* women and *especially* surrounding childbirth — WTF?!?). But they make it so fucking hard! These days, I get my (western) medical care from Nurse Practitioners. Maybe its something about the fact that they’re the underclass/traditionally feminine sector of healthcare themselves — but they just seem to be a more attentive, compassionate bunch. And damn competant too — maybe bc they have to work harder to prove themselves. God, I am just so fucking sick of healthcare in this country. And the fact that it’s actually managing to get worse! Amazing. Fucking horribly amazing.

  4. Tina. says:

    Excuse my ignorance, joanne, but how’s this Ricki Lake’s fault?

  5. joanne says:

    see for example http://www.parentdish.com/2008.....rth-movie/

    I was sort of tongue in cheek. While her film was the catalyst which got them to make this resolution, “fault” was sort of a jokey way to express it.

    Doctors don’t like home births for many reasons, most of them good, one of them not so much, that it cuts them out of it.

    Home births and high infant and mother mortality rates in childbirth go hand in hand. Birth is a natural experience, sure, but so are complications. IMO, the birthing center, where the mother can have a pleasant birth experience and the hospital is right there if there is a complication, is the best way to give birth. I was glad to be in a doctor’s care and in a hospital when it turned out, mid-labor, that I wasn’t going to be giving birth without doing myself and certainly my child damage if there wasn’t medical intervention.

  6. Red says:

    super bummer! i was a home-birth, and i was hoping to have my own kid at home in a few years. harrumph.

  7. joanne says:

    Remember, the AMA passes resolutions about what its own members want. This resolution says that they would like to outlaw home births. There’s a long, long way between the AMA saying they want something and each individual state taking the time and effort to make laws about it. Mostly it doesn’t happen.

  8. EricaCD says:

    Settle down, kids. The AMA resolution (easily found on their web site) reads as follows:

    Resolution 205 (1) that our American Medical Association support the recent American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) statement that “the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital, or a birthing center within a hospital complex, that meets standards jointly outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and ACOG, or in a freestanding birthing center that meets the standards of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, The Joint Commission, or the American Association of Birth Centers”; and (2) that our AMA develop model legislation in support of the concept that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital, or a birthing center within a hospital complex, that meets standards jointly outlined by the AAP and ACOG, or in a freestanding birthing center that meets the standards of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, The Joint Commission, or the American Association of Birth Centers.

    They’re not talking about banning home births and certainly not about banning birthing centers! (Like they could…) I read this as wanting the government to recognize and “support” their position on the issue. That probably means education, outreach and the like. It could reach to increased regulation of midwives (which may or may not be a bad thing). It does not suggest to me that you will be dragged into a hospital against your will. Lastly, as Joanne indicated, there’s a huge gulf between a resolution passed by a self-interested body and ANY sort of legislation.

  9. rocketqueen says:

    Is home birth the way I’d go? No. But that’s now the point. Home birth can be just as safe as a freestanding birthing center as long as the midwife is trained to recognize complications that require intervention (which they should be anyway), and affiliated with a physician and hospital within a reasonable distance. I understand imposing guidelines on home birth, or even requiring additional training for midwives who work with home births, but suggesting outlawing it outright is a nasty power play. Especially since free standing birthing centers are poorly covered by insurance, while home births (and hospitals) almost always are.

    And while we’re at it — how about the medical establishment reflect on themselves?! The infant mortality rate — in hospitals — in this country isn’t exactly one to write home about, and the Caesarean rate is up to 40% at some hospitals. How is that acceptable? Recommended even!

    And yeah, I know I’m ranting, and I know it’s not just about this issue, but I’m sure the fuck not going to “settle down.” I’m not going to be like my parents and so many other poor sacks in this country who so hopelessly bow to a doctor’s authority, eating every fucking pill they feed them — the ones that are entirely not tested in combination — and not questioning why until you suddenly realize how your personal pharmacy has grown and your kitchen table is a fucking dispensary. Education and outreach about how people need to go to the hospital? Ha! People know all too well how to go to the hospital. How about education about prevention? Prenatal care anyone? How about universal healthcare? And gyms and exercise programs that people can afford — that are covered *before* you develop diabetes? How about regulating the food industry?

    Dude, I feel bad for Obama. Because he’s going to win, and he’s going to have a heavy, heavy load. This country is a godforsaken mess, and if you haven’t noticed, I’m motherfucking sick of it.

  10. helenboyd says:

    amen, rocketqueen!

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